Friday, December 17, 2010

Kathryn's Notes (with some edits from Rachel) From the 12/12/10 Amherst Meeting

Sorry this has taken so long to post. Norm and I share one computer and he's been molto busy on it, developing curriculum for a course on the history, economics, science and politics of marijuana which an afterschool program director wants him to teach to high school students here in western Mass. This is a dream job for Norman, the program director is enthused and the class may be starting as soon as next week!Thanks to Bill Downing of MassCann/NORML for the heads up on that local job offer...

This is like raw footage-- unedited clips from our meeting, but as you follow along you will see our thinking as a group is essentially similar to the Avon group's. Thanks to Scott Mortimer, citizen lobbyist extraordinaire, for attending both meetings and helping us understand the context in which we now take action.
I'm glad we are all on the same page!

Here follow the notes:



we each give our names and *special powers*, ie skills we bring or work we can do for the group effort

included are PR, organizing events, citizen lobbying, education, writing, performance art, canvassing and common sense.


can't kill you, opposite--good for you
from Matt's talking points--"If this is a *war on drugs* let's take the sick and wounded off the battlefield."
botanical remedies not scheduled (?)

contact  our state reps
raise their awareness of the issue
 develop personal relationships with reps, get to know them as people
when invited to meet with rep,
Keep meeting cordial, dress conservatively, be on point, stick to same talking points as they will hear from others on the key issues and leave a good fact sheet; don't sidetrack into other concerns,
listen carefully to objections and be prepared to counter those objections
patients tell your personal story
doctors effective allies
visit statehouse on lobby days

Rachel has tentative appointments to meet with  staffers in Gov Patrick's and Jeffrey Sanchez' offices in January after bill is filed, will want MPAA support and group entourage, esp representative patients with very good raps,  would help... Latino MMJ supporters might help overcome Sanchez bias that MMJ isn't legit, he believes mj use is part of poverty-crime syndrome among poor people of latino descent or of color (so show AMA support, other prestigious medical endorsements of MJ efficacy as medicine, argue that more legit ways for patients to access posses and or grow will cut crime rates?)

Some discussion of history of MMJ activism here in Mass, who were the movers and shakers, who supported it, who objected and why, criticisms of the top-down model of activism.
affirm we are a grassroots patient advocacy group and collective in spirit, and overall pro legalization across the board, but willing to focus for practical purposes now on MMJ  and our patients' rights

ideas re where we may garner support now, ie from MPAA if we agree to work with Matt  on MPAA campaign, and by becoming ASA chapter we can benefit from ASA's experience, their legal advisors, their activist trainings, funding and so on

shall we
convene an organization,board of directors, staff, lobbyist(s)
$10,000 to rent an office
$500 to hire a PR firm
Prop 19 people still together, will do CA and CO again. adding MA would add another 10% to overall cost of a national campaign

Peter Lewis, Soros, Nadelman...

speakers' bureau

Looking at the MMJ Bill

Debilitating, chronic (questions)
add= as per doctor's recommendation
eliminate manditory registration
no designating only one dispensary (competition)
delete the disqualification re felony conviction
delete non profit(?)
homegrown cottage industry- not just medical, food, fuel, industrial
buyers club
community gardens
tithing 10% growers yield or leaf for free bubble hash
no cap to licenses for dispensaries
insurance covers prescription
distance from schools
more than 12 plants & 4 oz per patient?
enclosed locked space can be outdoor or greenhouse as well as under lights indoor
allow use for patients at workplaces and anywhere tobacco is permitted
(albeit I wouldnt want to have to be around cig smokers when taking my medicine break!)

 assert doc patient decision as the authorization for patient to access MJ from dispensary, limit beaurocacy

Name for group?

Contact reps and report to MPAA list what happens

WE MEET AGAIN Sun Dec 26th, at One PM
RSVP medicinesocks@ for location and directions

Hope to see you at the next meeting!

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